Michael Best & Friedrich LLP, Services for UMA Partners

Intellectual Property

Michael Best’s internationally recognized intellectual property (IP) practice helps companies protect and leverage their technologies and brands around the world. We also help clients avoid infringing others’ IP rights.

Our 150+ IP professionals practice in all areas of IP:

  • Patent
  • Preparation and prosecution
  • Trademark
  • Enforcement, clearance, and defense
  • Copyright
  • Licensing and technology agreements
  • Trade Dress
  • Portfolio strategy and due diligence

In addition to our standard services, we offer two services tailored to the particular needs of UMA members:

Risk Assessment Audits 

This service is designed to assist UMA members with initial reviews of their own product and service offerings in view of their competitors’ enforceable IP rights. Michael Best’s cost-effective review process can further include assessment of technologies, licenses and other third-party agreements, marketing materials, and more. We can also help companies monitor the IP activity of their closest competitors to analyze trends of competitor IP filings and, accordingly, understand areas of risk as well as opportunity. When potentially problematic IP (e.g., patents, patent applications, copyrights, trademarks, etc.) is identified, we can develop litigation avoidance strategies, offer design-around guidance, and help the client minimize overall IP risk.

IP Value and Focus Assessments

We can create and implement programs to increase the value of a UMA member company’s IP assets through assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the IP from both a patentability and a commercial perspective. These reviews may also identify certain IP with lesser value that may be abandoned in order to help reduce the yearly spend on IP procurement and maintenance. In some cases, identifying assets to be sold or licensed may be the best solution. We can prepare noninfringement and patent invalidity opinions and can assist the company in developing an internal IP record and review process for realizing key IP that may be obtainable. We can also offer training to a client’s developers, engineers, and sales forces regarding the patent process, timing requirements, and other issues relevant during product development to capture IP value early and efficiently.

Many of our IP services, including those listed above, can be charged on a fixed fee basis and our fee arrangements can be customized to meet each member’s budgetary needs. Please contact us for pricing.

Contact:  Partner Plymouth Nelson, pdnelson@michaelbest.com

Trade Secret

Incoming and departing employees can be a company’s biggest liability. With digital technology becoming ever more ubiquitous, moving critical assets from entity to entity is becoming easier every year. Michael Best’s Trade Secrets attorneys help companies develop, maintain, and improve sound business practices to protect their confidential information from former employees and competitors.

Michael Best’s interdisciplinary team includes attorneys from our employment, intellectual property, and litigation practices who help businesses defend trade secrets, enforce restrictive covenants, protect employees from solicitation, and provide proactive counsel to mitigate risk. We can help you adopt precautionary policies and procedures — including industry-specific best practices that can prevent the loss of assets and avoid litigation — and work with you to make sure they stay current. 

Our experienced team helps clients meet the challenges of employee departures, recruitment, and IP protection through services that include tailored employment agreements for Utah and all 50 states; best practices training for hiring, firing, and managing employees to protect intellectual property; employment policies and handbooks; customized confidentiality provisions; internal investigations; and electronic data protection. We also offer guidance on how to lawfully on-board new employees; start competing businesses; and defend against criminal and civil allegations of misappropriation of trade secrets, conversion, and claims related to the breach of employment agreements.

Fixed Fee Trade Secret Services

Certain services having a defined scope lend themselves to flat fees by project. Michael Best can offer the following services to UMA member companies on flat fee arrangements: 

  • Trade Secret Best Practices Triage Review for Business-to-Business Movement of Incoming and Outgoing Employees (with report on recommended next steps)
  • Preliminary Review of Non-competition Agreements and Non-disclosure Agreements (with report on recommended modifications)
  • Preliminary IP Ownership Audit (with report on recommended action items)

Please contact us for pricing information.

Contact:  Partner Eric Rumbaugh, ehrumbaugh@michaelbest.com

Privacy & Cybersecurity

Michael Best’s Privacy & Cybersecurity team provides legal counseling to support risk mitigation strategies and help clients stay ahead of emerging threats. Our attorneys bring in-house experience and significant experience working with the highest levels of federal, state, and regulatory agencies. Our proactive approach involves assessing how data is managed across the entire enterprise, identifying vulnerabilities, and building a customized compliance program. We work with all sizes and types of clients, including those in heavily regulated or critical infrastructure industries. We also offer innovative compliance services such as the BEST Privacy & Cybersecurity Toolkit, a comprehensive privacy mapping aid. 

We work with each client to customize our services to meet your needs as well as your budget. Please contact us for pricing information.

Contact:  Partner Guy Sereff, gbsereff@michaelbest.com

Labor & Employment

Our nationally ranked Labor & Employment Relations group helps clients throughout the country make employment-related decisions and plan for the future. We have experience with all kinds of employers and work forces, whether private or public sector, large or small, white- or blue-collar, unionized or union-free.

Our comprehensive services include:

  • Affirmative Action Plan compliance 
  • Employee benefits and executive compensation
  • Employment litigation
  • Employment policies, practices, and audits
  • Immigration 
  • Labor-management relations
  • Unfair competition and trade secrets
  • Wage and hour compliance and defense
  • Workplace safety and health

We can also provide UMA members with the following employment services:

Advice & Counsel Retainer

We can offer UMA members direct phone and email access to a member of Michael Best’s Labor & Employment Relations practice group under a monthly retainer arrangement. This arrangement includes routine telephone calls, limited legal research, review of facts and documentation on specific issues, and recommendations with respect to company action. Routine general advice covered under this retainer excludes projects that require significant written deliverables or more than de minimis research. 

Under this arrangement, Michael Best will notify the client if we believe any request to be beyond the scope of the retainer agreement, and we will notify the client when the monthly hours allotment has been used, so there are no billing surprises. We know from experience that the use of such retainer arrangements changes from month to month and evolves based on a client’s needs, new legislation, and other trends. With that in mind, the retainer arrangement would initially be reviewed every three months to ensure the client’s service needs are being met and the arrangement is being used as intended. 

Fixed Fee EMPLOYMENT Services

Certain employment services having a defined scope lend themselves to flat fees by project. Michael Best offers the following services to UMA member companies on flat fee arrangements: 

  • Employee Handbook Reviews (with comments)
  • Responses to EEOC or UALD Charges
  • I-9 Immigration Audits

Many of our Employment services, including those listed above, can be charged on a fixed fee basis and our fee arrangements can be customized to meet each member’s budgetary needs. Other services are priced on an hourly basis. Please contact us for pricing.

Contact:  Partner Judson Stelter, jdstelter@michaelbest.com

Best Workplace Solutions

Michael Best’s human resources consulting arm, Best Workplace Solutions, offers a comprehensive slate of customizable services to help companies align their people strategies with their business strategies. In today’s competitive employment environment, manufacturers can benefit from assistance finding the talent you need and keeping employees engaged and moving forward at your company.

Some of the cost-effective services Best Workplace Solutions offers include:

  • Human Capital Strategy & Organizational Design
  • Transitional HR Leadership & Successor / C-Suite Recruitment
  • Learning Center Made Simple (LCMS)
  • Training & Development
  • Employee Engagement
  • HR Audits
  • Employer Branding & Recruitment Marketing
  • Benefits & Compensation Program Design
  • Performance Management Programs
  • HR Operational Excellence
  • Post-M&A Integration
  • Risk Management Strategy

Additionally, Best Workplace Solutions has a library of eLearning and PowerPoint educational materials on a wide range of safety and employment law issues. Topics include antiharassment, ADA and FMLA compliance, union avoidance, legal issues for supervisors, extended DISC, leadership communication, and many more. We can also develop tailored educational materials or trainings.

Contact: Managing Consultant Kurt Meyer, kameyer@bestworkplacesolutions.com

HR Academy

Michael Best understands the employment challenges Utah manufacturers face, from a competitive talent market leading to thousands of unfilled positions, to a robust regulatory framework creating compliance challenges and potential pitfalls, to a tangled web of state and federal laws dictating almost every aspect of the employer-employee relationship. 

To assist UMA member companies in meeting these challenges, we developed a customized Human Resources (HR) Academy program. The HR Academy’s curriculum covers a wide range of HR topics, outlined below. These session topics can be adjusted and refined based on each client’s needs and feedback and can evolve over time to stay current with employment law trends.

Participating members gain insight into those state and federal laws impacting their HR practices, learn how to issue-spot any areas of potential exposure, glean best practices for recruiting, retention, and building a cohesive corporate culture, and more. Participants hear from legal and human resources experts, and benefit from group discussion, brainstorming, and strategies for practical application of the concepts covered in the sessions. The round-table format allows for an open dialogue among participants and ensures all have the opportunity to understand the content, ask questions, and share ideas. This program can be provided via both in-person or virtual formats.

The HR Academy program is highly customizable to meet each client’s unique needs and budget. Please contact us for pricing information.

HR Academy SAMPLE Curriculum

Topic Learning Objectives 
Handbooks, Agreements, and Policies Instruction on essential documents to govern the employment relationship, including discussion of specific items which should be in these documents for your organization. 
The Intersection of ADA and FMLA Detailed discussion of leave laws and regulations affecting Utah employers, including training on how to spot and resolve difficult legal issues related to ADA and FMLA.
Wage & Hour Law In-depth discussion on proper workforce worker classification; overtime; FLSA exemptions; and other wage and hour issues.
Avoiding Harassment and
Discrimination Claims
Advanced training on how to avoid and respond to harassment and discrimination complaints.

Developing a Robust Recruitment 

 & Retention Program

Overview of how to attract qualified applicants and provide them the tools, trainings and opportunities needed to thrive in your organization. 

Incorporating a Culture of Safety 

 Into Your HR Practices

Practical steps to ensure workplace safety is at the forefront of all HR practices, effecting both a safe and healthy workplace and compliance with OSHA regulations. 

Contact: Partner Judson Stelter, jdstelter@michaelbest.com

Best Autonomous Insights 

Artificial intelligence-enabled technologies and applications are substantially altering the manufacturing industry. Our Best Autonomous Insights (Best AI) consulting group assists both developers and users of autonomous innovations. We leverage more than 30 years of AI and unmanned technology industry experience and leadership to provide business advisory services that help manufacturers capture efficiency, maintain compliance, and avoid pitfalls. 

Best AI Principal Kyle Snyder has worked at NASA and Lockheed Martin, spent over 20 years in the leading industry organization (Association for Uncrewed Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI)), and led his own consultancy serving the aviation and uncrewed vehicle industries. He has significant experience advising developers and users of autonomous technologies on navigating technical, infrastructure, regulatory, and social issues. Kyle also helps clients with strategic planning, market analyses, creating competitive business models, technology development and commercialization, project management, financing and investments, and risk avoidance tactics.

We work with each client to customize our services to meet your needs as well as your budget. Many of our Best AI services can be priced on a fixed fee basis. Please contact us for pricing information.

Contact: Kyle Snyder, ktsnyder@michaelbestconsulting.com

Government Relations

Michael Best Strategies, the government relations affiliate of Michael Best, has over 30 years of experience managing trade associations, coalitions, and company-government relations and is well equipped to assist UMA members with government relations needs. Strategies is bi-partisan and bicameral with close relationships with the Utah delegation and others on Capitol Hill, boasting former White House Chief of Staff and RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and Former Congressman Steve Israel (D-NY) on its Board of Advisors. The combination of our national legal and government affairs teams allows us to provide clients across the country with the broadest possible scope of meaningful solutions. Strategies can provide a variety of services including the following:

    • Section 301 Tariff Relief: Section 301 tariffs on products imported from China have created challenges for many businesses, especially manufacturers. Strategies can assist companies who are impacted by the Section 301 tariff to help them secure financial relief. 

Our team can provide services including filing public comments, tariff exclusion applications for your product at issue, building support from political leaders and private stakeholders, and guidance on the processes. We know the Biden Administration’s considerations and the key factors for Section 301 and 232 tariff exclusion actions. We can also work with you to determine alternative customs options to help provide your business with relief.

    • Key Issues Presentation: The Biden Administration and Congress have changed the landscape of federal priorities. Michael Best Strategies can develop and present targeted educational seminars on how the federal landscape impacts businesses and industries. Topics that may be of immediate interest include updates on trade, labor, tax, environment, energy, funding, and upcoming elections, all issues that greatly impact manufacturing. 
    • Virtual or In-Person Fly-In: Strategies can organize an in-person or virtual Fly-In in Washington, D.C. Fly-Ins quickly become a mainstay for national and state member organizations. A Fly-In provides the opportunity to hear from your Members of Congress and get the inside scoop on issues and policies affecting their companies. Companies receive a front-row seat at a program tailored specifically to their top business priorities. 
    • Federal Legislative and Regulatory Updates: We can also develop customized Policy & Political Updates to provide companies with the latest intelligence about legislative and regulatory issues impacting their businesses, whether on trade, labor, healthcare, energy, environment, or politics. Armed with this knowledge from our Strategies team, our clients are in position to plan and execute their own efforts proactively rather than reactively. Policy & Politics Updates can be provided monthly, weekly, or daily.

We work with each client to customize our services to meet your needs as well as your budget. Many of our Government Relations services can be priced on a fixed fee basis. Please contact us for pricing information.

Contact:  Sarah Helton, schelton@michaelbeststrategies.com

Defense and National Security 

In today’s challenging security environment, U.S. leadership—from the White House to Congress to federal agencies—is hyper-focused on national security. From basic operations to emerging technologies and modernization, the U.S. government urgently needs business partners that can effectively solve problems in an innovative, cost-efficient, timely manner.

The Defense & National Security practice at Michael Best Strategies helps clients meet this need. With decades of experience in the federal government and national security space, our team has strong networks in the executive and legislative branches. We help clients navigate the classified and unclassified levels in defense, intelligence, and homeland security.

Our team serves as trusted advisors, strategists, and connectors for clients dealing with the U.S. government, the Pentagon, and Congress. We advise on business strategies including government relations, public relations, and government procurement, enabled by critical legal support from the Michael Best law firm. Together, we bring a comprehensive approach to problem-solving, with core competencies in:

  • Strategic Planning
  • Key Market Assessments
  • Road Mapping
  • Relationship Mapping
  • Contract Support
  • Stakeholder Introductions

We work with each client to customize our services to meet your needs as well as your budget. Many of our Defense and National Security services can be priced on a fixed fee basis. Please contact us for pricing information.

Contact:  Partner Erik Berdy, emberdy@michaelbeststrategies.com